Archive for May, 2014
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of people while they work, and the attitudes of the employees tend to carry on to the customers. There’s a reason why so many companies train their employees in smiling and ways of talking. Eventually, though, that got me thinking… how can human resources really make use of this in order to improve a company?
Traditional wisdom holds that the biggest effect of happy employees comes in the customer service department – but in manufacturing, very few people actually interact with customers. The impact of employee happiness is primarily felt in the quality of workmanship for each and every item. Unhappy employees are far more likely to make sloppy mistakes or simply not care about the products they’re manufacturing, while happy employees are likely to put forth their best effort on a consistent basis.
Every human resources department I’ve seen would love to have every employee happy all the time, but happiness is not something that can be handed out at-will. I’ve seen more companies than I want to count try and fail to keep their employees happy through poorly-planned incentive programs, misguided seminars, or even face-to-face discussions that just make the employees feel awkward.
As noted in Psych Central, happy employees are able to create a clear and measurable improvement in overall customer satisfaction – including creating repeat customers and significantly enhancing brand loyalty.
What does it take to really make employees happy, though? Well, it’s a lot less than many people think. At Kryton, a sense of ownership, a feeling of being legitimately valued, and the occasional challenge are all it takes to keep most employees happy every day they come in. This is especially true in manufacturing, where most employees are involved with actually creating the things that customers will use. Everything starts from the top, and the managers who can do these things are the ones whose businesses tend to succeed.
CNC laser cutting has grown since I began in metalworking more than thirty years ago. Technology has gone from complicated drafting programs and bulky, limited machining equipment to programs designed for easy intuitive use and machines we used to only dream about on Star Trek. Today’s 5 Axis CNC laser cutting machines allow for more complexity and precision than ever before. Here’s how it works:
— The client has an idea. It may be a single part, or multiple pieces that fit together.
— We take that idea and turn it into 3 dimensional plans.
— We program that plan into the numerically controlled machine tools.
— The machine uses the precise measurements to turn out metal parts, large or small to meet the exact specifications required to make our clients’ vision a reality.
The advantages of the 5 Axis CNC machines over the older 3 Axis machines in creating pieces for our clients is amazing. The 5 Axis still provides the unparalleled ability to lay out exact cuts to assure that every piece meets our clients specifications, no matter how complex the design. As with all CNC laser cutting, every hole, score, and curve on a flat plane is perfect.
Where the 5 Axis shines is in the creation of 3 dimensional metal pieces. The free moving arm that moves on more than one plane allows each metal piece being worked to remain exactly where it started as the machine uses its precision calculations to place each cut, shave and polish on any part of the curves. The tangential movement of the 5 Axis arm allows flawless curved pieces to be created with unprecedented tolerance levels.
To learn more about 5 Axis CNC laser cutting, and how we can help with your metal working needs, I hope you’ll drop us a line at Kryton Engineered Metals.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak to the Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access, led by Chairman Tom Rice. The main focus of this meeting was to discuss re-shoring in manufacturing and how to bring jobs back to our own shores.
Here are some excepts from the meeting as released here: http://smallbusiness.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentiD=%20372822
Kevin Harberts, President and CEO of Kryton Engineered Metals, Inc. in Cedar Falls, IA said, “…the uncertainty in Washington has the potential to hinder manufacturers’ future growth and reshoring successes. While politicians argue among themselves, employers like me are stuck in a holding pattern. We don’t know whether Congress will extend the R&D Tax Credit, we’re unsure what new rules OSHA and the EPA will impose on us, and we can’t find qualified workers in large part because Congress has not updated our job training laws in over a decade. The federal government needs to help foster an environment in which businesses from around the world want to reshore work to the United States.” To see the rest of my testimony you can download it here.
Robert Hitt, Secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Columbia, SC said, “South Carolina’s manufacturing GDP was $28.7 billion in 2012. This is approximately 16.3 percent of the state’s overall economy, a larger share than on the national level, where manufacturing accounts for 12 percent of the U.S. economy.
“Where the small business community typically reaps benefits from manufacturing in our state is either by providing a value-added service in direct support of the manufacturing operation (such as machining or repair) or by providing other services like janitorial, staffing or subcontracting on construction projects. For South Carolina, the jobs multiplier for automotive manufacturing, for instance, is approximately four, meaning that for every automotive manufacturing job created in the state, three additional jobs in a variety of service and support functions are created. Most of these jobs are in small businesses. Other industries like aerospace, food products and machinery manufacturing have similarly high jobs multipliers.”
Shirley Mills, Director of The Boston Company in Boston, MA said, “For U.S. manufacturing and its workforce, the world is much more competitive than it once was. It can be tempting to talk about “jobs coming back,” but that is not quite accurate. Rather, incremental investment in American manufacturing may create new and different jobs. They may be higher-skilled and higher-paid than those that were lost, but there will probably be fewer of them. The broader benefit to U.S. employment — particularly lower-skill employment — will come from associated services, such as trucking, distribution, retail and banking.”
Mei Xu, CEO and Owner of Chesapeake Bay Candle in Bethesda, MD said, “[The Government should] help educate Americans that we need to be a nation that produces goods, rather than a nation that just purchases them. People should take pride in making things and the government should strive to eliminate the stigma associated with manufacturing jobs.”
Behind every successful company, there is a high performance leader who decided to innovate or think outside of the box. These are the leaders who do not follow the normal path. They surround themselves with talent and have the uncanny ability to find the right employees that can help them accomplish their goals. Anyone can be a “game changing leader”. Having the drive and the willingness to develop innovative ideas and take your team to the next level. Here’s the big question. How do you become a game changing leader?
4 simple game changing leadership development ideas:
- Have an innovating mind that drives action and outcomes.
- Promote ideas that drive outstanding performances within the company.
- Be inspired and lead with energy. This allows you and your company to achieve positive growth.
- Lead with the creative energy that facilitates team growth.
This game changing leadership formula has led to the positive growth at Kryton Engineered Metals. What started out as a dream, has been transformed into a state of the art manufacturing company. Kryton Engineering has morphed into a leader of spun metal component and fabrication parts. Kryton Engineered Metals was established in 1981 and in its’ short 30 plus years has been able to serve its customers with a “Make it Happen” attitude.
Are you a game changing leader?